Brooklyn Boards and Blooms

At Park Delicatessen in New York City Michael J. Selafani and Valentine Leung give a lesson on how to marry disparate things like skateboards, flower arrangements, toddlers, and hand soaps.

You might never walk past Park Delicatessen if you didn’t mean to. If you did happen by their sleepy corner in Brooklyn your brain might initially refuse to reconcile a skate board and flower shop with window mannequins crisply attired in sweet cotton frocks designed by Valentine. There aren’t any sandwiches or cold pasta salads here folks. Better than that is a carefully cultivated shop that reflects the couple’s stellar urban taste.

Michael and Valentine work as a symbiotic pair, picking up what appeals to their aesthetic tastes and the vibe of the shop. A small list of things you will find at Park Delicatessen are skateboards, Converse sneakers, smart looking pocket knifes, dresses by Valentine, a selection of Liddabits gourmet chocolate bars, a smattering of pottery, well worn vintage toolboxes, hand stitched pillows and children’s clothes, handmade notebooks, t-shirts from Roberta’s pizza and a selection of stems waiting to be bundled together in one of Park Delicatessen’s signature flower arrangements. Even with such variety the shop feels artfully curated. While browsing through I find myself lingering over each object of interest as almost everything is sold as a unique piece.

Michael explains that everything in the shop is bought in small hand picked batches so as to keep the selection fresh. He spends three days a week working with flower wholesalers to determine what are the freshest and most interesting blooms to bring home. He cultivates relationships with their favorite skateboard companies–which seems like a sweet deal since he himself is an avid skate boarder. The shop was originally meant to serve the skate community drawn to the neighborhood by the renovated exterior of the Brooklyn Museum. Apparently an unintentional but ideal skate spot. The heavy wooden door that guards an old walk-in refrigerator was the inspiration to bring in flowers. By the time the two realized the fridge would never work it was too late to turn back and a skate shop/florist was born in Brooklyn at just about the same time as their two year old son Marcel.

Springtime has come and Park Delicatessen will greet the season with a fresh set of flowers and a new addition to the business. Look for the tasteful array of Delicatessen goodies in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn and also at the newest Williamsburg location of the Brooklyn Flea.

533 Park Place

Bet. Washington & Classon

Brooklyn NY 11238


Kris De la Torre

Happily cultivating a nomadic life style, Kris has enjoyed unpacking and repacking her back pack in locations as diverse as Alaska, the UK, U.A.E., SE Asia, Peru and Chile. Presently living in New York City and working as a cheesemonger in a West Village treasure, her most recent obsessions are American Farmhouse cheeses and micro brews. She is a runner, art enthusiast and is regularly found haunting Brooklyn's coffee houses and used book stores.

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